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How do you brew the perfect cup?

Stare deep into that stale cup of singed office-coffeepot slurry for a moment and think: What’s the best way to get the most flavor from really good, fresh-roasted coffee beans?

Your musings might turn up online search results for equipment like the chemex, or vacuum-powered brewing techniques that look more at home in a chemistry lab than in a kitchen.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of specialty coffee brewing techniques, an area of expertise that is gaining popularity lately, mark your calendars for the June 3 First Friday event downtown. On that night, this art-focused event will include some performance coffee art, put on by the baristas of 25 30 Espresso. This will be the debut of CUP., the pop-up bar 25 30 hopes to bring to special events around the region.

The demonstration and tasting, which will benefit the Salvation Army’s youth music program, will take place starting at 5:30 p.m. at 724 Caroline St., the vacant storefront that formerly housed Deborah’s Place. Look for more information in an upcoming Food section and on this blog.

Anyone practice specialty brewing techniques at home? Weigh in in the comments section.

In the meantime, here’s a demonstration to whet your appetite.



  • Scott Olsen

    French Press of course. Is there really any other way to make the perfect cup of coffee? Oh…and I roast my own beans!

  • Jim Bryant

    Pinky Out! Dunkin’ Donuts coffee works for me.

  • asdf

    Why brew when you can walk to Hyperion!

  • Jennifer Brooks Lane

    Hello Front Burner!

    This is my favorite thing for the first breakfast of the day. I sometimes use leftover coffee (I get my roasted beans from Farm To Family in RVA) from the day before that I saved in the coolerator. And, I love to give it a little Shebang! It’s my Thang!

    Recipe for Shebang Café au Lait
    Submitted by Jennifer Brooks Lane
    GreenHearts Farm

    1 cup milk (soy, rice or regular*)
    1 cup strong coffee* or yesterday’s brew
    1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
    1 Tbsp. SHEBANG! Spiced Sugar Blend*

    Heat the milk until almost scalding, pour the coffee into the milk. Mix the cocoa and SHEBANG! in a pot, pour the milk mixture over it and stir until mixed. Pour into coffee cups, garnish with heavy whipped cream (if you like) and chocolate curls if desired.

    *Local milk, coffee and SHEBANG! can be found at Farm To Family.

    To Happy Days!

  • amanda

    I think the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had was from a Siphon pot over at Blackstone.

  • alphageek

    I would have to go with great local places. In Fredericksburg, Blackstone Coffee Company is hard to beat. I am a fan of fresh roasted coffee.